Gaylen Richard Pitts (born June 6, 1946, at Wichita, Kansas) is an American professional baseball manager and coach, and a former third baseman at the Major League Baseball level. He is currently a special assistant on the Major League coaching staff of St. Louis Cardinals' skipper Mike Matheny.
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Born: June 6, 1946|
|May 12, 1974, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 25, 1975, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||4|
Playing career (1964–77)Edit
As a player, Pitts threw and batted right-handed, stood 6'1" (1.85 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg). Pitts signed with St. Louis as a shortstop in 1964 after graduating from Mountain Home High School in Arkansas, and reached the Triple-A level with the Tulsa Oilers of the American Association in 1970. The following season, he was acquired by Oakland in a minor league transaction.
Pitts' Major League experience came with the Oakland Athletics during brief call-ups during the 1974 and 1975 seasons. He appeared in 28 games, batted 44 times, and compiled a batting average of .250, with four doubles and four runs batted in. However, Pitts has spent most of his career in the Cardinals' organization.
Coaching and managing career (1978–present)Edit
Pitts' managing career began with two seasons (1978–1979) in the A's farm system managing the Modesto A's. He returned to the Cardinals in 1981 as a minor league manager and has spent most of his career with the club. With extensive experience in the minor leagues as a skipper and a roving instructor, Pitts managed at Arkansas in 1981, 1982 and 1989, Savannah in 1985, the Springfield in 1986–87 and Johnson City. He guided Springfield to division titles in 1986 and 1987 and Arkansas to a league championship in 1989, earning him Texas League Manager of the Year honors.
Pitts' first five years coaching for the Major League club occurred from (1991 to 95) on Joe Torre's staff when Torre was the field boss of the Redbirds. His coaching roles included hitting (1991), bullpen (1992 St. Louis Cardinals season), bench coach in 1995.
Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was winning the 2000 Pacific Coast League Championship as manager of the Triple A St. Louis Cardinals affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. In extra innings, Albert Pujols who was at the time 20 years old, hit a walk-off home run to win the title.
During his most recent managerial assignment, he was the 2008 manager of the Palm Beach Cardinals, St. Louis' High-A affiliate in the Florida State League. He opened the 2009 season as the Cards' special assistant for player development and served in that role until joining Matheny's staff.
- "Gaylen Pitts profile". Scout.com. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Gaylen Pitts baseball stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Gaylen Pitts minor league statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Gaylen Pitts". Retrosheet.org. Retrieved November 10, 2013.